Sales is tough. Getting sales teams motivated, trained and excited about your products takes lot’s of effort. It gets even more challenging when they are not your employees. If you are selling through manufacturer reps, agents, dealers and distributors, you have less leverage and influence over them.
There are 3 points that influence a sales person:
4. Commission / Compensation (yes the obvious one)
People talk about what they feel they are experts on. Sales reps will promote a product or service they are most knowledgable in most of the times. Product and industry knowledge leads to comfort.
Being comfortable talking about a product is based on knowledge, familiarity, frequency, duplicatability. Knowledge is more than just product knowledge, it is industry, uses and competition too. Being familiar about a product is based on how recently you were exposed to information related to the product and knowledge. The more frequently a person is exposed to a product the more comfortable they feel and the more confidence they have talking about the product. Lastly, duplicability. This is a new (made up word) meaning how is is it to reproduce the sales pitch. With easy products and good training sales reps will use the same sales pitch structure, same examples and case studies and sometimes style of pitching if it is easy to copy.
The more distributed and indirect the sales force is the more difficult it is to provide these values. Having the right tools will allow you to mass replicate these desired qualities to maximize sales in indirect channels and over large geographies.
Tools: Sales tools are one of the most important. Improper sales tools will prevent knowledge transfer, comfort and motivation to promote your product. Most organizations fall short here.
a. Your sales enamblement tool should not be complicated and difficult to use
b. It needs to be easily accessible
c. Don’t expect users to go to use the tool. The tool needs to go to them
If you sales enablement tool accomplishes these 3 goals than we can move to the content.
Your marketing material needs to be sales centric. Sales centric means it needs to be in a form and substance which in in line with the sales pitch and process. There is a lot of marketing material out there which is awesome but not proper for a sales pitch, hence you have sales reps trying to create their own material which is generally sub standard form a branding and messaging perspective. In some cases it is inaccurate and non compliant. For example, a white per on the benefits of oats in your breakfast cereal will not help you push more boxes in the supermarket iles.
You need to provide sales training material. Pushing one 60 minute video is not the right way. Sending bit sized training videos and materials frequently proves to be the easiest to absorb and retain for sales reps. Most of us have been out of college for some time and the last thing a sales rep wants is another college course on your product. Frequency and size are key components